In this paper I discuss the role of the nonsensical ‘statements’ of Wittgenstein’s Tractatus and the aims of the book, a topic which has in recent years been the subject of, at times heated, controversy among Wittgenstein’s readers.1 In this debate the so-called ineffability interpretation argues that the role of nonsense in the Tractatus is to make us grasp ineffable truths which ‘strictly speaking’ cannot be said or thought2. By contrast, the interpretation known as the resolute reading emphasises the incomprehensibility (...) of the notion of ineffable truths. According to the latter, nonsense in the Tractatus serves a therapeutic purpose: that of curing us from attempts to put forward nonsensical philosophical doctrines3. By employing a method of juxtaposition I.. (shrink)
Since the middle of the 20th century Ludwig Wittgenstein has been an exceptionally influential and controversial figure wherever philosophy is studied. This is the most comprehensive volume ever published on Wittgenstein: thirty-five leading scholars explore the whole range of his thought, offering critical engagement and original interpretation, and tracing his philosophical development. Topics discussed include logic and mathematics, language and mind, epistemology, philosophical methodology, religion, ethics, and aesthetics. Wittgenstein's relation to other founders of analytic philosophy such as Gottlob Frege, Bertrand (...) Russell, and G. E. Moore is explored. This Handbook is the place to look for a full understanding of Wittgenstein's special importance to modern philosophy. (shrink)
Wittgenstein’s rejection of philosophical theories doesn’t mean that he, or whoever adopts his method, couldn’t have any positive views about the objects of philosophical investigation. It merely means not presenting those views in a dogmatic manner, as theses that all relevant cases must fit. Wittgenstein’s approach allows one not to take sides in philosophical disputes and to take on board whatever might be correct in the traditional theories.
Transcendental arguments have been described as undogmatic or non-dogmatic arguments. This paper examines this contention critically and addresses the question of what is required from an argument for which the characterization is valid. I shall argue that although transcendental arguments do in certain respects meet what one should require from non-dogmatic arguments, they - or more specifically, what I shall call 'general transcendental arguments' - involve an assumption about conceptual unity that constitutes a reason for not attributing to them the (...) status of non-dogmatic arguments. As a solution to this problem I distinguish general transcendental arguments from what I shall call 'specific transcendental arguments' and seek to explain how by limiting the use of transcendental arguments to the latter type it would be possible to avoid dogmatism. This methodological adjustment also opens up a possibility of re-interpreting transcendental arguments from the past in a novel non-dogmatic fashion. (shrink)
Wittgenstein on philosophical problems : from one fundamental problem to particular problems -- The Tractatus on philosophical problems -- Wittgenstein's later conception of philosophical problems -- Examples of philosophical problems as based on misunderstandings -- Tendencies and inclinations of thinking : philosophy as therapy -- Wittgenstein's notion of peace in philosophy : the contrast with the Tractatus -- Two conceptions of clarification -- The Tractatus's conception of philosophy as logical analysis -- Wittgenstein's later critique of the Tractatus's notion of logical (...) analysis -- Clarification in Wittgenstein's later philosophy -- From metaphysics and philosophical theses to grammar : Wittgenstein's turn -- Philosophical theses, metaphysical philosophy, and the Tractatus -- Metaphysics and conceptual investigation : the problem with metaphysics -- Conceptual investigation and the problem of dogmatism -- Wittgenstein's turn -- The turn and the role of rules -- Rules as objects of comparison -- Rules, metaphysical projection, and the logic of language -- Grammar, meaning, and language -- Grammar, use, and meaning : the problem of the status of Wittgenstein's remarks -- Wittgenstein's formulation of his conception of meaning -- The concept of language : comparisons with instruments and games -- Wittgenstein's development and the advantages of his mature view -- Examples as centers of variation and the conception of language as a family -- Avoiding dogmatism about meaning -- Wittgenstein's methodological shift and analyses in terms of necessary conditions -- The concepts of essence and necessity -- Constructivist readings and the arbitrariness/nonarbitrariness of grammar -- Problems with constructivism -- The methodological dimension of Wittgenstein's conception of essence -- The nontemporality of grammatical statements -- Explanations of necessity in terms of factual regularities -- Wittgenstein's account of essence and necessity -- Beyond theses about the source of necessity -- Philosophical hierarchies and the status of clarificatory statements -- Philosophical hierarchies and Wittgenstein's "leading principle" -- The concept of perspicuous presentation -- The (alleged) necessity of accepting philosophical statements -- The concept of agreement and the problem of injustice -- The criteria of the correctness of grammatical remarks -- Multidimensional descriptions and the new use of old dogmatic claims -- Wittgenstein's conception of philosophy, everyday language, and ethics -- Metaphysics disguised as methodology -- The historicity of philosophy -- Philosophy and the everyday. (shrink)
Addressing a broad range of topics, this collection of essays provides thorough survey of Wittgenstein scholarship, surveying the history of the field and shedding a new light on contemporary debates. The first collection of its kind, this volume presents a range of perspectives on the different approaches to the philosophy of Wittgenstein Written by leading experts from America, Britain, and Europe Provides a much needed overview of the complex landscape of Wittgenstein exegesis and Wittgensteinian approaches to philosophy Assesses the current (...) state, aims, and future of Wittgenstein scholarship An essential guide for both students and scholars. (shrink)